Dean Henderson.

Henderson reveals a big regret

Tuesday 29 March 2022 11:00

Dean Henderson admits he is desperate to build a rapport with the Manchester United supporters.

To his regret, the keeper has still to play a Premier League game for the Reds in front of a full crowd as many of his appearances came during the Covid-19 pandemic, when matches were played behind closed doors.

He did feature at Wolves in the final game of last term when 4,500 fans were present, as the public were gradually reintroduced into stadiums. 

Although he has played three times in 2021/22, all at home to West Ham United, Young Boys and Middlesbrough, these outings have come in cup competitions.

'Non-league was the making of me'


Dean Henderson explains how a first loan at Stockport has helped give him the tools to succeed.

The 25-year-old has 29 appearances in total for United, 13 in the top flight, but admits he buzzes off the relationship with the crowd, something that has been evident in each of his loan spells away from the club. Hence, it still rankles that he played so much football in empty stadiums during the pandemic.

“I thrive off it," he told us, when asked about the positive energy from the crowd. "I love it. I love playing in front of the supporters. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve always built up good relationships with them because I think they can help on a Saturday as much as we can help each other. I think they can become the 12th man.

“Unfortunately, at this moment in time, I’ve not yet had the opportunity here [in the league at Old Trafford] because we had Covid last year. It’s been a shame and that is something that grinds on me. I believe I can have an unbelievable relationship with the Manchester United fans, but until that day comes, I’ll keep working hard in the background. One day, I’ll build that rapport with them and kick on.”

Henderson's self-belief remains as strong as ever, even though he had the setbacks of missing out on England's European Championship campaign through injury and then contracting the virus during a key part of the pre-season campaign.

The Academy graduate is convinced he will take any opportunities, should they arise before the end of the season, with both hands.

“You’ve got to believe in yourself,” he stated. "When you come into the team, you’ve just go to go out there, and it shows within my performances that I crack on with it.

“I’ve got that belief, that determination, that hunger. Mentally, up there, I know I have not left any stones unturned, and I’m ready for when a run of games come.”